We all travel for different reasons, seeking different things while we are at it: adventure, beauty, solitude, cultural experiences, nature, food, and more. New experiences and places provide us with the opportunity to learn something new, bringing us to locations, outside and inside of our self, that can promote growth and reflection.
Some of us are born with a natural wanderlust – we seek to be in places we’ve never been before. We like moving and experiencing, and we don’t fear the challenge. We embrace it. I learned this about myself at a very young age, thanks to a mother who showed me places and made a big deal about it. And no, we didn’t go to fancy, far away locations
I was always presented with the excitement and refreshment of stepping away from the routine. And since I became a mother, I have tried my best to pass this adventure-seeking to my little one.
The sense of adventure that is promoted when we go outside our routine can have great effects in children and teens by reshaping the way the see the world. When traveling as a family, we also become a team who shares experiences and connections that will become long-lasting memories. Learning to appreciate different cultures is something that will forever change our young ones in remarkable ways, making them more open, more resilient, and even more grateful for all they currently have.
Exploring our world, from neighboring towns to far away continents, is all such bliss because the sense of wonder and joy is already IN us, and exploration reminds us of this. We learn about our strengths, our patience, compassion, openness, confidence, and our ability to connect with what is around us. Travel can be opportunities for wonderful reflection and conversations to have with our children. For example, my daughter and I like talking at the end of the day about something we have seen, done or tried that we enjoyed and share why. We look at the pictures of the day and examine the leaves, flowers, rocks and sticks we may have gathered on our explorations. A simple practice that goes a long way.
Going places helps us find or fuel our passions. When we are away from home we discover what we miss, what helps us spark, and what we believe in from our deepest self.
Stepping away from the routine is quite fascinating. The flow and randomness of life intensifies when we travel, and that is a beautiful thing, not only because every day is different but because It reminds us there is no other time than NOW. This can be a little challenging for kids, so it is important to maintain familiar, simple daily practices that will help them ground during the adventure.
And that is exactly why I personally believe we find ourselves a little more every time we go out to new places, regardless of the location and regardless of what we are looking for. With the new experiences comes a sense of wonder that reminds us of the magic of being alive. With every new food, new sight, and new person, we remember we are ALL part of this amazing blue planet and of this rather complex human family. When my daughter was 3, we embarked on a wild cross-country adventure for almost a year and even now, 5 years later, I’m surprise on how vivid her memories are and how much it shaped who she is now. It made her adventurous and confident.
Our sense of wonder gets enhanced and the benefits of this goes beyond the actual days of adventure. I feel I bring back home a completely different self every time. I am no longer the one that left home – in a great way! I feel inspired, connected and grounded in ways only travel can give me. That is why I have made it my mission to see at least two different places a year, close or far, whatever is feasible. And yes, like most of us I have a “bucket list” of mostly faraway, exotic places and I do hope to see at least a few of those.
I’m certainly very grateful for the magic found in the destinations life has taken me so far.
With gratitude and a sense of wonder, go find your most magical self at a location of your choice. The world, its people and cultures will not cease to mesmerize you if you are open enough. Bring your family along and establish memories that will last a lifetime and lessons that will be carried with us in our daily life: appreciation, contemplation and gratitude among others.
I will leave you with an excerpt from a beautiful song titled Modern Day Pioneers by the band Shoeless Soul: “Ramble on is what we must, to satisfy this wanderlust, can’t control this yearning to explore.”
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